Saturday 23 September 2017

You are young, you will get another wife, police told distraught husband

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

A HEARTLESS police officer asked John McAreavey why he was crying after his wife was murdered -- claiming he could always find another .

"What are you crying about? You're young, you'll get another wife," the man told Michaela McAreavey's distraught husband just hours after her death.

Appearing in the witness box yesterday, John told the Mauritian Supreme Court how police had arrived to take him away, shortly after he found his wife's lifeless body in their honeymoon suite.

That afternoon the police officer accused him of having an argument with Michaela, and handcuffed him, leaving him alone in a room for up to six hours.

He said his head was still "spinning" from the discovery of his wife's body when the police arrived at the hotel to take him away.

"They took me and put me in a jeep, two police men in front and two in the back but they didn't put handcuffs on me.

"They could see I was obviously in pain. I remember the police saying 'did you have an argument with your wife?'

"I could see what he was implying and I abruptly told him: 'No, no.'"

The police officer then asked him his age and he replied "26".

"He said: 'What are you crying for? You're young, you'll get another wife'. Further up the road the police got out of the jeep and got something to eat. They ate their food and drove off again."

He was stripped of his T-shirt at the police station. John said yesterday: "I can only assume they were looking for a struggle or an altercation where I might have been scrawbed. I could see what was going through their minds," he added.

He said he was handcuffed and left alone for "five to six hours".

After that time, John said: "A police man pulled up a chair and sat down. He said: 'We can help but you must tell us what happened. If you don't, you will go to jail for a very long time'.

"I was still crying my eyes out. I was in a complete state of mental disarray."

He told the court how he made a statement.

"I tried to calm myself and tell them what happened. I tried to tell them everything I could remember about what Michaela did that day. I realised the police needed that information."

He said he met other police officers later that night who seemed "far more sympathetic", though they too made him take off his T-shirt for examination.

He was allowed to return to the hotel in the early hours of the next morning where a nurse gave him a sedative and he "dozed" until 6am.

Asked subsequently by defence lawyer Sanjeev Teeluckdharry if he had said he was treated badly by police, he responded: "No, I didn't say that." But he agreed that the officers had been "insensitive".

Irish Independent

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